There are thousands upon thousands (upon thousands…) of associations and chambers out there, and they’re all unique! But regardless of industry or mission, nearly all organizations have one thing in common: They all aspire to grow.
Now you likely already have a growth strategy in place as part of your organization’s 2021 strategic plan, but let me ask you: Does that growth strategy incorporate social media? If not, you may be missing out on a fairly easy, cost-effective way to reach potential new members.
Not sure how to leverage social media as a growth tool at your association or chamber? Here are a few ideas:
1. Experiment with Facebook and/or LinkedIn ads
Social media advertising continues to get more and more popular by the year. What platform(s) you should advertise on depends a lot on your industry and demographic, but two of the most popular choices — among both new and experienced social media advertisers — are Facebook and LinkedIn.
And for good reason! With Facebook and LinkedIn, you can get very granular with your target audience. Think about how much information people give when they set up a Facebook or LinkedIn profile. They don’t just give their name and email address; they give their location, occupation, age, interests, and for some, SO much more.
What this means is, you can be very specific about who you want your ads shown to. It’s a great way to get in front of potential new members who may not know anything about your association or chamber.
Even better, social media advertising doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg. If your messaging is strong and your targeting is on point, you can get quite a few “leads” with just a few hundred dollars.
2. Encourage your members to spread the word (and make it easy for them to do so)
By now, you probably know your members are your greatest marketing tool, but how much are you actually doing to get them to spread the word about your association or chamber? If you have a membership referral program in place, that’s great — you’re already making strides to growing your organization’s membership.
But rather than just relying on your members to spread the word in conversation, encourage them to leverage their social media networks as well…and make it extremely easy for them to do so. Think of creating something like a “membership referral toolkit.” Inside could be resources such as pre-written social media posts and graphics that your members could easily just copy and paste and upload to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. One graphic could be “Top 5 Reasons to Join,” which you could easily create using a tool like Canva.
The point is, the easier you make it for your members to market your association or chamber, the more likely they are to actually do so.
3. Monitor industry conversations (and participate when appropriate)
We mentioned above how social media advertising is a great way to get in front of potential new members who may not know about your organization (and whose information you may not yet have in your database). Well, social media, in general, is a great tactic for doing that — if you leverage it to its fullest.
The key to this is hashtags. Does your industry or community have a unique hashtag on social media? (For example, in the public relations industry, #PRpros is a popular hashtag.) If so, start using that hashtag in your social media posts (as long as the content is relevant, of course). Not only that, keep an eye on that hashtag and engage with others who are using it. If you’re sharing relevant, valuable content to those who are a part of that industry or community, they’re going to start seeing the value in your association or chamber. And that’s just on the surface. They’ll start to think, if you provide that much good content to everyone, imagine all the resources your members get.
As you can see, social media can be a pretty strong tool — for both membership recruitment and membership engagement. If you’re interested in using it more, but you aren’t really sure what platforms you should be on or how to fully leverage them, check out our free guide below for tips!